Why You Need To Stop Trading Your Time For Money
Hey everybody, Marcel Martens again,
Welcome back to the Cloud Secrets podcast. First, we get the theme song, and then I’ll talk about why you need to stop trading your time for money.
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So today’s episode is all about
why you need to stop trading your time for money.
Back in 2008 when I started my business, it was my first assignment for myself to be able to stop trading my time for money. And it took me a while, because first I needed to build all kinds of services. But as you can understand, you can only make so much money as you have time available and you can’t divide yourself in two to be able to serve two customers at the same time, especially with a complex project, it’s, well un-doable and I don’t even think you should want it.
So when I started in 2008
It was my first failure as an entrepreneur. And let me share that story because I think you can all learn from it. At that time I was working for a big company doing international projects and migrating all kinds of big companies, enterprise companies to Citrix and to the cloud. I don’t know what came before cloud. We used Citrix at the time to, well, give all the employees server based computing so they could work on any station, anywhere on the planet, on any device.
And at that time my challenges were gone at the company. So I ask, okay,
can you give me a new challenge or can you move me to a different division?
But no, every time they told me no, no possibilities, no options, no nothing. So I told to my boss, okay, then I’ll eventually I will start looking for something else because I need a challenge,
I’m not here to do the same thing for the rest of my life.
So after, I don’t know, maybe a half a year, a year, I run into my old boss, and I had a conversation with him and he was asking me, are you ready for a new challenge?
I was looking at him like, okay, what do you have in mind because I left your company because also the challenges were too small or well, we eventually could take over the company, but it was in the middle of a crisis. So I didn’t.
And I bought my first apartment, so I didn’t want to have any financial risks. I just wanted to be able to pay my mortgage and stuff and so I didn’t have to worry about money and all that things.
And he asked me, okay, are you ready for a new adventure? And I said, okay, but I don’t know what do you have in mind, because I didn’t leave your company for nothing. He said, no, it’s with my companion and he’s a cloud service provider and we could use your skills.
So full with faith, as naive as I was back in the day, I went to the chamber of commerce, I got a number and get my tax set up. And I start working for this guy, who screwed me over big time, by the way. So I built an international cloud platform for his company to sell in entire Europe. So this completely multi-lingual, all features and all everything you could think of were included.
So at the end of the… I built it, a half a year on it to make the designs and make all the preparations and installations. And I also had a team with IT guys, who helped me install and set up all solutions that were… No, not solutions. Think of Exchange, think of Citrix, think of file servers, think of database servers, think of application services, NetScalers, load balancers, everything you can think of, we had it totally set up and scripted so we could automatically roll out of users. Which was pretty far fetched that at that time. It was, well, I think we were the first one in 2008 who were doing it that way.
But that said, I said, okay. He was going to give me stocks of his company, or shares of his company, in trade for my time. So at the end of the year, I said, okay, let’s go to the … I don’t know what you call it in English. Here you call it “Notaris”, where you can exchange your shares and make it all legal and effective. And he said, shares? Shares?
What are you talking about? Well, I see beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, a lot of words I can’t say here. And it was also one of my last days there. I sent him my last invoice for some hours I worked for a customer of his. I took my loses and well, stated working further on my own.
But at that time, I was living off my wife’s salary, who was paying my apartment, who was paying our groceries, who was paying my insurances, everything, because I didn’t have anything left. All my money was gone in the half a year. And I was working for this guy. Learned a lot though, but it was a pretty expensive lesson.
And so I needed to do what I was good at. And that was start working as a freelancer to make quick cash, you know? We always had our minds and our vision on services so we could stop trading time for money.
So the first year, 2009, I did a lot of consult working, a lot of design work, all freelance. So I would make a ton of money and all that money, well I pay my mortgage of course, but the rest of the money we all put it back into hard and software. And since then I really never traded my time for money again. It was also always combined with services. And if you have the focus on services, like for example, we were selling these remote desktops, which included office their files, exchange for their email. So basically a workplace in the cloud.
And we would sell it for 75 euros a month, excluding VAT, excluding taxes. But if I could set up a customer with 50 employees, well the first time project migration, that’s project based on time, which we can send them an invoice for. But afterwards, the 50 users times 75 euros a month, they just keep coming in and coming in every single month. And yes, of course, I need to do some support.
But that’s what I mean with stop trading time for money.
And then that way if you can scale your business pretty rapidly, if you have a good sales team or are good at sales yourself.
At that time we had 800 users or something, I don’t know. So we were scaling pretty big. And that’s when you get time and resources available to do other things, because you’re not longer trading your time for money. In doing so you can hire your staff, your service desk, your engineers, everything you need to get yourself out of the day to day, so you can focus on new projects, new revenue generating items, bringing in new customers, doing marketing, doing whatever you want to do, because the recurring revenue keeps coming in.
And it has been my focus from day one that I started as a business owner or an entrepreneur, to eliminate my time in the equation. If a business depends on your time or the availability of your time, I think is the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make. Because then you can only make so much money as you have time available. And yes, of course, you can increase your hour rates, but at the end, you still need to work every single hour to get paid. And while, if you go into services or cloud service in this case, you even keep earning money while you’re at sleep or on holiday, or sometimes you’re ill for a week or sick or end up in hospital, I don’t know. The revenue keeps coming in so you can pay your bills at any time.
And when you set up your support team, even when you are on a three week holiday, no problem. The business continuity is never, ever a problem because you’ve got your employees who take care of the customer at that time.
So that’s what I wanted to share with you. For me, it’s always been a focus, as I told. I hope I inspire you to make it your focus as well, especially if you join the cloud secrets program. It’s all based on providing services and not… Well, the first time migration is a project. Of course it’s nice to have some quick cash but in there end, to me, the only thing that matters is that I will end up with a customer that will stick with me for at least ten years.
And I can earn money every single month without having to do anything after the initial setup.
Okay. If you like this, please leave a review and rate this on iTunes. I would like all IT guys in the world to start following me, or at least would like to start for themselves or become an entrepreneur. And on iTunes you can only get a high probability that you’ll be found if you’ve got high rating. So please rate and subscribe and I hope to see you next time.
Thanks for joining. Bye bye. Marcel Martens.